En Classe in a nutshell
So you get to school, you find your classroom and have a seat at your desk. If you happen to live in a well-developed country, you wouldn’t think about this twice. But if you happen to grow up in the Democratic Republic of Congo, it's a different story…. Most school buildings have leaking roofs and more often then not, the walls are about to collapse. There are no restrooms and the schoolyard is far from being safe. The children have to sit on the floor and they lack a blackboard and teaching materials. A poignant situation, according to the founders of En Classe. Therefore, since 2007, En Classe is working to improve this situation and to give Congolese children a chance of a brighter future.
Over the course of 8 years, En Classe has renovated dozens of school buildings, which are being used by a whopping 24 schools and 8000 students annually. A nice, safe school with school desks, restrooms and running water is a good start, but by far not enough to have a real impact on children’s futures. They also need a better education. That’s why En Classe has developed several programs aimed to improve the quality of education. We currently offer: digital reading, hygiene, teacher training and Congolese culture. A program on school feeding is on its way. For each program, En Classe cooperates with a local and an international partner. If a program is successful, it will be introduced on a larger scale in cooperation with other aid organizations and the Congolese Ministry of Education. Starting in the capital, Kinshasa, and then in the rest of Congo.
En Classe prefers to cooperate with Congolese companies. Renovations are carried out almost exclusively with local materials and the school furniture is being manufactured in Kinshasa. This way, En Classe also supports the local economy. The staff of En Classe in Kinshasa cooperates closely with the schools, our partners for the programs and our Congolese contractors. This provides a wealth of knowledge and experience. Consequently, En Classe has been able to fulfill a special role: big enough to be a serious partner in our work with other organizations, yet small enough to remain effective, innovative and pragmatic.